WHY THE TRUE JESUS CHURCH?
Adapted from Words of Life 10
The name True Jesus Church nearly
always causes uneasiness in people who come across it. They reason, “Are there
such things as true and false churches? If they are true, we must be false”. This
is something which they cannot tolerate as they deem it to be sheer arrogance.
Not long after the Lord Jesus was
born, His parents brought Him to Jerusalem where He was presented to the Lord
as prescribed in the Law, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy
to the LORD” (Lk 2:23). A man called Simeon, inspired by the Holy Spirit said,
“Behold, this child is set up for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Lk
Similarly, the appearing of the
True Jesus Church in the world has caused many in Christendom to fall. They
have despised her and looked upon her with contempt. But she has caused many to
rise too. For some were humble enough to make an in-depth study and came to
know her as the true church, despite the fact that the name of the True Jesus
Church is still rejected by the majority.
Since misgivings revolve around
the name of the church, it is necessary to explain the scriptural impetus for
calling ourselves the True Jesus Church.
I. WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
The word “church” is the English
form of the Greek word “ekklesia” which means an assembly of people. In the
biblical context it refers to the people whom God gathers out of the world to
be consecrated to Him (Acts 20:28; Rev 5:9–10). The church is thus different
from an ordinary secular organization since it is a people holy to God chosen
out of all the peoples on earth.
Although the term “church” was not
specifically used in the Old Testament, God separated the Israelites from other
races. God's election of Israel in the Old Testament is a pre-figuration of the
church in the period of the New Testament. By his own precious blood, the Lord
Jesus has redeemed a multitude of believers, a holy nation, separated from the
people of the world to become children of God (1 Pet 2:9–10). It follows then,
that the church is a congregation and not a building.
We examine next why God builds the
church on earth. Since Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God, they were
driven out of paradise. While they did not have total communion with God, they
existed under the clutches of Satan, living a sinful life and heading toward
God in His mercy would not allow
such an end to be the lot of the very creatures that He had carefully molded in
His image. He intervened. He chose Abraham as the father of an elect out of
many races and promised him that every family on the earth would be blessed on
account of him (Gen 12:3). From Abraham’s seed, God chose the descendants of
Jacob to be His chosen nation, the Israelites. But the Israelites sinned against
God, were punished by Him, and a remnant returned to Judea.
In His time, God sent His only
Son, Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world. Those whose sins are cleansed
by the precious blood of Christ would receive the Holy Spirit as the guarantee
of their heavenly possession. Such are blessed people who form the body of
Christ and the household of God, and are citizens of the heavenly kingdom. They
are to glorify God and to preach salvation to the people while on earth. The
church henceforth would be from all who would be children of Abraham through
baptism in Jesus’ name (Gal 3:27–29).
II. WHY MUST THE CHURCH BEAR THE NAME OF JESUS?
We have already established that
the church is a congregation of chosen people redeemed by the blood of Jesus
Christ. This fact provides the focal point as we examine the reason why the
church must bear the name of Jesus.
1. The church is the body of Jesus and should bear
One of the expressions which best
describes the peculiar nature and distinctness of the elect assembly is found
in the Bible: “The church ... is His (Jesus’) body, the fullness of Him who
fills all in all” (Eph 1:22–23). A body is a mass of integrated members joined
to the head. The Bible testifies, “He (Christ) is the head of the body, the
church” (Col 1:18). Therefore the chosen people, being His body, must be
identified with His name.
Moreover it is written,
After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of
David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so
that the rest of mankind may seek the
LORD, even all the Gentiles who
are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things. Known to God
from eternity are all His works.
Obviously it is the will of God
for His chosen people to come under His name. The name of Jesus is God's own
name (Jn 17:11,26). Thus, the church is called Jesus(’) Church (the church of
2. “Jesus” is the precious name by which men are
saved from their sins
When the angel of God announced to
Joseph that his fiancée Mary had conceived through the Holy Spirit, he added,
“she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will
save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).
As we can see from the book of
Acts, the apostles clearly understood that the name “Jesus” saves people from
sins. Hence they conducted baptism in this name (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5).
Peter, their usual spokesman, exerted, “There is no other name under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
In this connection, the word
“Christ” needs further explanation. Christ is not a person's name but a Greek
word translated from the Hebrew “Messiah” meaning “the anointed”. It is a title
and not a personal name. Since Jesus is the name of the only Savior, and the
church is a congregation saved from sin, she should bear the name of Jesus as
indication that she is saved by the same.
3. God will only bless the church which bears His
The Lord said to Moses,
An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice
on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and oxen. In
every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.
The Lord God also told Moses that
whenever he wanted to ask God of anything or make sacrifices, he must go to the
place where the name of the Lord dwells (Deut 12:5,11). The church that is
blessed, and whose offerings God accepts is the church that bears the name of
God (Jesus). Paul says, “To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:21).
4. The church is the bride of Jesus and must bear
the name of Jesus
Paul compared the intimate
relationship between Jesus and the church to that between husband and wife.
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of
the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is
subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave
Himself for her.
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be
joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great
mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Usually, when a woman marries a
man, she adopts her husband's surname. For instance, if June gets married to
Mr. Brown, she would be known as Mrs. Brown. This coincides with the biblical
teaching that the wife belongs to her husband. The church is the bride of Jesus
Christ and belongs to Him. The Lord refers to her during His earthly ministry
as “My church”. Shouldn’t she bear the name of Jesus?
III. WHY DO WE USE THE WORD “TRUE”?
It may be acceptable if a church
calls herself by the name of Jesus, but why True Jesus Church? Would it not suffice to simply call it Jesus’ Church or
Church of Jesus?
1. The word “true” signifies the nature of God
The Bible repeatedly stresses that
God is true (Jn 3:33; 7:28; 8:26; 17:3; Jer 10:10).
If the name of the church is prefixed by the word “true” we uphold God and at
the same time proclaim that we “know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is
true ... the true God and eternal life” (1 Jn 5:20). We express our identity as
the church of God, a name widely used in the apostolic period (Acts 20:28; 1
Cor 1:2; 10:32). Incidentally, it also conforms to the teaching that God is the
head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3).
2. The significance of the word “true” in relation
Jesus Himself said, “I am … the
truth” (Jn 14:6); “I am the true vine” (Jn 15:1). The Bible also calls Him the
“true light” (Jn 1:9). The need to differentiate the true from the false
existed even then because our Lord Himself warned of “false christs” (Mt
24:24), and Paul discovered the preaching of “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4). So,
is it an unwarranted and altogether foreign practice to place the word “true”
before Jesus; i.e. “True Jesus”?
3. The significance of the word “true” in relation
to the church
By placing the word “true” before
the church it carries the meaning of true church. Such a denotation is
necessary because false prophets have existed since the apostolic days and are
even more active in this end-time. They would show great signs and wonders so
as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Mt 24:23–26). A careful
comparison between the apostolic church and churches in our time would reveal
that thousands have deviated from the gospel preached by the apostles. What
qualifies a church to be true? The true church must meet the following
must have the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says anyone who does not
have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. The church as Christ's body
should be in-dwelt by God's Spirit. Any church devoid of the Spirit does not
belong to Christ. The Scriptures also teach that the Holy Spirit is the
guarantee of our inheritance of the heavenly kingdom (Eph 1:14). Can a church
without the Holy Spirit, uncertain of salvation, be called the true church of
must be accompanied by signs and miracles.
The presence of signs and miracles
in the church testifies that she is commissioned by God. The church set up by
God must be accompanied by signs and wonders to confirm the message preached
(Mk 16:20; Acts 14:3; Heb 2:4). A church without miracles does not have the
confirming witness of God. She might be only a human organization preaching
precepts of men instead of a true church.
must conform to the teachings of the Bible.
The church must be built on the
foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as the corner stone
(Eph 2:19–20). Man's preaching must never supersede the teachings of Christ (2
Jn 9–11; 1 Cor 4:6).
Nevertheless, the word of God has
suffered atrocious adulteration according to man's own fancies. Baptism by
immersion (Mt 3:16; Jn 3:23; Acts 8:38–39) has been substituted with sprinkling
and pouring. To many, tongue speaking is forced into the past by a deliberate
misinterpretation of the Scriptures. Actual occurrences of tongues are deemed
to be gibberish and products of heightened ecstasy. Some are so blindly
convicted of their censure that they are emboldened to call it barbaric or even
demoniac. The distinct audible (tongue speaking) and visual (bodily vibration)
manifestation (Acts 2:33; 10:44–46; 19:6–7) has unfortunately been either
ignored or twisted.
It has been a popular belief that
one is in-dwelt by the Spirit silently and immediately at conversion. However,
in this end time, the deception is strong as tongue speaking is a common
phenomenon in many churches—even in the traditional Roman Catholic and Anglican
churches! Here, we need to stress that as the Holy Spirit is the spirit of
truth (Jn 14:17; 16:13), we must discern whether a church that has the Spirit
also teaches according to the truth from the Bible.
Some place tradition and church
authority over the word of God by maintaining that they have every right to
transfer the solemnity of the Sabbath rest from Saturday to Sunday, which they
call “Lord's Day” (Rev 1:10). They even introduced a pagan festival by
christening it “Christmas”. They fail to wonder why the Bible should be silent
about the birth-date of Christ if it were God's will for us to celebrate
In this present
age of confusion and falsehood, when false christs and false prophets are prevalent,
God has established His true church as a beacon of truth to guide the hitherto
misled ones into the true grace of God and to stand fast in it (1 Pet 5:12).
The Lord mentioned “My church” in
Mt 16:18. The apostles used the terms “the church of God” (Acts 20:28) and “the
churches of Christ” (Rom 16:16; 1 Thess 2:14). Such a prized possession of God
has to be stamped with His divine name, i.e. True Jesus Church.
This name not only manifests
Jesus’ truthfulness, it also portrays the relationship between God, Christ and
the church. The church is the body of Christ and Christ is her head (Eph 1:23;
Col 1:18). God is in turn the head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3). Hence, the sequence
True Jesus Church.
Moreover, since Jesus is the true
vine and we are the branches (Jn 15:1,5), it is not inappropriate for the
church that is attached to Christ to be known as the True Jesus Church. Did not
John also say, “Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in Him
(Jesus) and in you, ...”?
The name of Jesus placed in
between “True” (God) and “Church” also signifies the mediatory function of
Jesus between God and men (1 Tim 2:5). In addition, it indicates that the
church belongs to Christ and Christ to God (1 Cor 3:23).
The truth of this name has been hidden
from the wise and understanding and revealed to the innocent (Mt 11:25–26). As
such, it has caused many to fall and to rise. It is thus hoped that the
faithful would be enlightened and united with us as one flock under one
shepherd (Acts 16:15; Eph 4:13; Jn 10:16). Then we will be able to bear much
fruit as from the one true vine to glorify God.
“To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:21).